South Australia Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

The Rules

Midnight icon
No driving between midnight and 5am

Applies to all P1 Licence holders and Learner motorcyclists.

THE RULE
No driving between midnight and 5am unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

Read more about no driving between midnight and 5am.

Passenger icon
No more than one passenger aged 16-20

Applies to all P1 Licence holders under 25.

THE RULE
No more than one passenger aged 16-20 at any time of the day or night (immediate family members exempt), unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

Read more about no more than one passenger aged 16-20.

L Plate icon
Hazard perception test for learners

Applies to all Learner's Permit holders.

THE RULE
Before you apply for a P1 licence you will need to first pass the Hazard  Perception Test (HPT).

Read more about hazard perception test for learners.

P Plate
Time on Your Ps

Applies to all provisional licences.

THE RULE
The time you have to spend on a provisional licence is three years. One year on a P1; and two years on a P2 licence.

Read more about time on Ps.


Midnight icon No driving between midnight and 5am

NIGHT DRIVING RESTRICTION

Applies to P1 licence holders and Learner motorcyclists under 25*.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 licence holders or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

* exemptions apply.

Read more about no driving between midnight and 5am.

Who is a qualified supervising driver?

They could be your mum or dad or someone else that has held a full driver's licence for at least two years without disqualification. They must sit in the front passenger seat and meet drug and alcohol laws as if they are driving. E.g.: no drugs and no BAC of 0.05 or more.

More FAQ's

Can I drive if I work night-shift?

Yes. You can drive between midnight and 5am to and from work by taking the shortest, most practicable route or in the course of doing your job.

Can I stop to get food or petrol on the way to or from work?

Yes, as long as you are taking the shortest, most practicable route between home and work.

More FAQ's

THE REASON FOR THE RULE

All drivers have an increased risk of crashing when driving late at night but the risk is greater for young, inexperienced drivers. Inexperience in night driving as well as fatigue and risk taking are all contributing factors.

The figure below shows the drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes between 10 pm and 5 am as a percentage of all drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes in each age group before the rule was introduced.

As you can see, there was a very high percentage of younger drivers under 25.

Drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes between 10pm and 5am as a percentage of all drivers/riders, South Australia, 2009-2013. Drivers aged 16-19, 30%. Drivers aged 20-24, 27%. Drivers ages 25+, 12%.

Of the 16-19 year old drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes, 30% crashed between the hours of 10pm and 5am. This compared to 12% of drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes aged 25 or over.

THE RULE

No driving between midnight and 5am unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

EXEMPTION CRITERIA

  • Driving between home and work or driving in the course of employment.
  • Driving between home and education/training or driving in the course of education/training if you are enrolled with a school, university, TAFE, apprenticeship or other formal training provider.
  • Driving between home and formal volunteer work or driving in the course of performing formal volunteer work.
  • Driving between home and an activity to participate  in sports, artistic, charitable, religious or scientific activities provided by an organisation, association or club.

NOTE: You must take the shortest most practicable route between home and the activity. 

Police and emergency service members are exempt from both night driving and passenger restrictions while on duty.

You do not need to apply for an exemption but you must be able to satisfy police that you meet the exemption criteria. Read more about exemptions.

What if there is an emergency?

If there's a medical emergency, call an ambulance. Driving another person to the hospital places you under greater pressure and may also put others in danger.

More FAQ's

PENALTIES

Offence (NOTE: Penalties effective from 1 July 2018)Expiation feeVictims of Crime LevyTotal feeDemerit points
Driving between midnight and 5am$357$60$4173
Driving with more than one passenger (16-20)$357$60$4173
Driving with no visible P-Plates$357$60$4172


You must not gain 4 or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.

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Passenger icon No more than one passenger aged 16-20

PASSENGER RESTRICTION

Applies to P1 Licence holders under the age of 25.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

Who are immediate family members?

Your brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, step-parent, guardian, step-grandparent, spouse, domestic partner, child or a person related to you according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

More FAQ's

Can I drive my friends to school?

Yes, but only one friend aged between 16 and 20. In addition, you could take your brother and/or sister because immediate family members are exempt.

More FAQ's

Who is a qualified supervising driver?

They could be your Mum or Dad or someone else that has held a full driver's licence for at least two years without disqualification. They must sit in the front passenger seat and meet drug and alcohol laws as if they are driving. E.g.: no drugs and no BAC of 0.05 or more.

More FAQ's

THE REASON

Young drivers are four to five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when they have two or more similar aged passengers. Carrying passengers of a similar age can distract a young driver and encourage them to take greater risks.

The figure below shows the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes with 2 or more  passengers in the vehicle as a percentage of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in each age group before the rule was introduced.

There was a very high percentage of younger drivers under 25.

Drivers involved in fatal crashes with 2 or more passengers as a percentage of all drivers, South Australia, 2009-2013. Drivers aged 16-19, 25%. Drivers aged 20-24, 21%. Drivers aged 25+, 12%.

Of the 16-19 year old drivers involved in fatal crashes, 25% were carrying two or more passengers at the time of the crash. This compared to 12% of drivers involved in fatal crashes aged 25 or over.

THE RULE

No more than one passenger aged 16-20 at any time of the day or night (immediate family members exempt), unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

EXEMPTION CRITERIA

Requirement to carry passengers in the course of employment.

NOTE: Passenger restriction exemptions are Not available for any other activities, including education/training, volunteering, sports, artistic, charitable, religious or scientific activities.

Police and emergency service members are exempt from both night driving and passenger restrictions while on duty.

You do not need to apply for an exemption but you must be able to satisfy police that you meet the exemption criteria. Read more about exemptions.

PENALTIES

Offence (NOTE: Penalties effective from 1 July 2018)Expiation feeVictims of Crime LevyTotal feeDemerit points
Driving between midnight and 5am$357$60$4173
Driving with more than one passenger (16-20)$357$60$4173
Driving with no visible P-Plates$357$60$4172


You must not gain 4 or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.

For more information call 13 10 84.

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L Plate icon Hazard perception test for learners

Applies to all Learner's Permit holders.

THE RULE

If you have a Learner's Permit and you are going to apply for a P1 licence, you will need to first pass the Hazard Perception Test.

THE REASON

The HPT is a computer-based test to assess the driver's ability to recognise dangerous situations and to react safely.

Click here for more information about the Hazard Perception Test including:

  • the most common crash types for provisional drivers
  • how to book a HPT
  • practise the test online.

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P Plate Time on Your Ps

THE RULE

The time you need to spend on a provisional licence is three years. One year on a P1 and two years on a P2 licence.

THE REASON

The longer a provisional licence holder is subject to provisional licence conditions helps to keep young drivers out of high risk situations and is likely to result in fewer crashes. The minimum age at which a driver can obtain a full driver's licence is 20 years.

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